SamSam Ransomware Attack Hits Indiana Physicians Group

A May 17, 2018 ransomware attack that took part of the network belonging to Allied Physicians Group of Michiana out of action following the encryption of several files on its network.

At present it remains unclear whether any protected health information encrypted. A review into the security incident is attempting to determine whether any protected health information was obtained in the cyber attack.

The attack was identified quickly and action was immediately applied to shut down its network to protect the PHI of patients. Allied Physicians Group of Michiana has been working with its incident responder, outside legal consultants, and other professionals to examine the scope of the HIPAA violation and rescue encrypted data.

The Indiana Physicians Group has announced that all data have now been recovered in a secure format and the attack did not cause significant disruption to its clients. Measures have already been taken to enhance security and prevent future attacks of this nature from happening.

CEO Shery Roussarie outlined in a May 21 press release that the attack involved a variant of SamSam ransomware, which has been used in several cyberattacks so far in 2018, including the ransomware attack on the City of Atlanta.

The cyber criminal gang responsible for these SamSam ransomware attacks tries to extort money from victims with ransom payments usually in the region of $45,000. While a ransom payment was sent by the attackers, it is not clear how much the ransom was and whether it was paid by the organization. In the press release Roussarie stated, “The Company declines to confirm whether a ransom was paid or, if so, the amount.”

Allied Physicians Group of Michiana is collaborating with the FBI and all relevant regulatory agencies to uncover the extent of the incident. Additional information will be released when it becomes available and patients will be advised if their PHI was impacted.